Thursday, May 23, 2013

Getting closer to

Spring and hot water.

I'm a little hesitant to say it's Spring with the way Winter hung on and really, we're closer to Summer now.

I even took a little break, if you want to call it that, from the Winter weather in the Keweenaw by going "down South" to our Northern Ohio farm. While mid-April in Northern Ohio is Spring, there was a lot of complaints from the natives about their weather. I listened politely while dressed in shorts and t-shirt. By the time it was time for me to return North, the lilacs were in full bloom and I had mowed the lawn twice at the farm.

While the break from the weather was nice, my time at the Ohio farm was definitely no vacation. I was there to prep the farm to go back on the market and find yet another real estate agent. The farm is a small 20 acre farm surrounded by a corporate farmer to the South and East. Needless to say, the corporate farm was a bit of a bully to us. It was one of the main reasons we wanted to sell and bought the place here. This corporate farmer constantly trespassed onto our property, sprayed and killed our hay. They also sprayed me - I was sick for four days. They even planted their crops on our ground. They kept cutting the growth back on our property after repeatedly telling them not to, to which they responded by nearly running me over with their brush hog. They threatened to cut my trees down. It had gone on for far too long and of course the sheriff refused to do anything about it because when you're that big, you know people. Mike finally told the guy to knock it off and leave me alone. It was also a deciding factor in my moving here ahead of Mike while he finished out his career. Mike joined us at the cabin in November 2012. All was well at the farm when he left. When I went to the farm in mid-April, it was evening and already dark when I arrived. I met daybreak missing a 660 foot line of trees. They made good on their threat, trespassed, destroyed some major timber trees, and completely destroyed the view out the back of the house. Now, lights and noise from the state route were evident with the trees gone. Additionally, they dug up the property creating a huge ditch and ripping out an official staked survey survey pin. Those pins were two - two and a half foot long rebar "pins" that were part of a $1000 survey. So, I made a phone call to the farmer. The son runs the farm. The father was the one we were having problems with. Turns out they were not aware that the father was harassing me. Seems to be a bit of a "rogue Grandpa" situation only with heavy equipment in lieu of a walker. Don't get me wrong, livid is an understatement but the job this man in his mid-80's did was quality one. I am so proud of how calm and polite I was. I just stated that something was going to have to be done about this. The farmer told me to let him know about the survey pin (cost). I did notice that the timber destruction was glossed over. I said that I could do one better and just sell the place to him. Turns out one of the employees of this farm was looking for a house and the farmer is always looking for more land so we made an appointment for the farmer and the employee to come over and look at the place. My parents came over and we scrubbed the daylights out of the house. Remember I hadn't been there for nearly three years while The Husband was "baching" it there. Mess was also an understatement. I won't get into that part of the story but the words "divorce" and "throw your body on the insurance agent's desk while I hold out my hand for a check" have been bantered about. Appointment time came and I gave a very good tour of the house, if I do say so myself. It wasn't hard to do because the house really is lovely. They left and said they'd let me know. They came back ten minutes later and said they'd take it. It took two real estate agents six months to produce NO offers. I was at the house for a week and a half and sold it. I continued to stay at the house and along with my parents, get as much cleaning and maintenance done as possible-all work that should have been done or would have to be done for financing. I'm going to spare us all the usual joyful experience working with contractors tends to be. I don't know which is harder: getting the work done or staying a free member of society while one tries to get the work done. I got home mid-May. Mike has made two trips down to Ohio to get the remainder of our belongings and move the piano. We couldn't bare to part with the piano so as of this past Monday, she is on loan to and now resides at the Calumet Art Center. We're very excited about her career in show biz. Did I mention that the piano used to belong to the ex-wife of the gentleman buying the house? Pause for shocked gasps. I know. Small world.

Closing is on the 29th. The hot water project should start up shortly thereafter. I will be covering the hot water install here in the blog. Hopefully, we will be able to end the hot water project coverage with a steamy bathtub scene.